By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
COALITION of civil society organizations, operating under the aegis of the Act for Positive Transformation Initiatives, APTI, has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against collecting 3% of the total annual budget of the oil-producing companies operating onshore and offshore in the Niger Delta.
The group alleged that the Commission had taken up the role of receiving the money on behalf of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, without remitting the same to the Commission since year 2020.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, the Head of Directorate of Research, Strategy & Programmes of APTI, Kolawole Johnson, stated that the action of the anti-graft agency was in disregard of the provisions of section 14(2) (b) of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000.
He said, “The law only gives the power to specify how NDDC assets are to be held to the management and Board of the Commission, not EFCC or any other agency of government, not even the Ministry of Finance or the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
“We, therefore, press for an immediate discontinuance of demand for the 3% of the total annual budget of the oil-producing companies operating onshore and offshore in the Niger Delta, including the gas-producing companies.
“We also demand, for the refund by the EFCC to the NDDC, immediately without illegal deductions of commission or charges whatsoever, within seven (7) days of all the 3% of the total annual budget of the oil-producing companies operating onshore and offshore in the Niger-Delta states including the gas producing companies that have been taken by the EFCC on behalf of the NDDC since 2020.
“While expressing confidence that the EFCC will do what is just in this regard by returning the total sum collected thus far, we call on the Commission to release the fund to a dedicated NDDC account not to be touched till after the general elections.”
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